Dorothy Oakden

Dorothy Oakden was the secretary at the St. John’s Medical Practice in Clerkenwell, where Margot Bamborough worked prior to her disappearance on 11 October 1974.1 Having passed away at 912, Dorothy is unavailable for Strike and Robin to interview during their investigation, but they learn about her through other witnesses. 

Dr. Gupta tells Strike that Dorothy came to work at the practice through Dr. Brenner, the third doctor at St. John’s. Dorothy was very loyal to Dr. Brenner, but she didn’t like Margot and was often very “cold” towards her. Dr. Gupta adds that Dorothy “could be quite unkind.” 3

Margot’s best friend, Oonagh, describes Dorothy as “mean” and says, “Outward observance, inward poison. They say the words, you know ‘Father forgive me, for I have sinned,’ but the Dorothys of this world, they don’t believe they can sin, not really.” 4 

In 1974, Dorothy was a widow and had a teenaged son named Carl, who later went on to write a book on the disappearance of Margot.5

1: Troubled Blood, Chapter 10
2: Troubled Blood, Chapter 15
3: Troubled Blood, Chapter 10
4: Troubled Blood, Chapter 24
5: Troubled Blood, Chapter 16